Horror movies are a Halloween staple, but often the best Halloween movies aren’t indeed terrifying. For numerous, watching fright movies is a year-round pursuit, but the Halloween season is a special time for cruelty followers. Whether it’s a brand new horror experience or another entry in an existing franchise, October ever produces a curve of repugnance to theaters.

Unsurprisingly, given the folklore around October 31 and the long history of fright cinema, Halloween has an understandable association with unnerving cinemas. From iconic movies like the eponymous Halloween series to modern punches such as Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, there are plenty of examples of executives using the celebration as a marketing opportunity. Naturally, the superhuman implications means that the emphasis is often on startling the audience.

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However, despite this , not all of the best Halloween movies have to be scary. At the end of the day, despite the holiday’s macabre stylings, Halloween is supposed to be fun. A good cruelty movie has the power to genuinely disturb the audience, creating a sense of unease that can linger long after the credits have reeled. While that kind of grim foreboding is undeniably spooky, it’s not really compatible with a day best known for distributing candy to children. This is why, for all the associations with fatality and darkness, many of the best Halloween movies are those that situated horror to one side.

Genuinely frightening movies are simply more contentious to be crowd-pleasing. Ari Aster’s Midsommar, for example, is hailed by many as a modern repugnance classic, celebrated by devotees of the genre and pundits alike. It’s well made and certifiably scary. But even a movie as highly regarded as Midsommar eventually fractions publics . While numerous compassion that kind of horror experience, any movie that tries to be scary will likewise be met by observers unmoved by the panicking images, and those so off-put by the prospect that they wouldn’t even consider a watch. Everyone has their own personal barometer for what’s scary and when being scared stops being amusing, but that scale varies significantly from person to person. Just given the nature of being creepy, a certainly scary Halloween movie will always be offputting for some.

Halloween is for minors. That’s not to say that adults can’t enjoy it as well, but the modern festivity of Halloween is centered around creepy acts for the young and young at heart. Even many of the best Halloween pastimes for adults, such as making a Halloween costume, harken back to childhood remembrances. While terrible cruelty and unsettling person cruelty are both integral parts of the horror genre at large, they couldn’t be further from kid-friendly. The best Halloween movies can’t leave out such an integrated part of the audience.

Ultimately, something feeling “Halloweeny” is different from feeling terrifying. One looks like Hocus Pocus, and the other looks like The Strangers. That inconsistency comes from the holiday itself. Halloween is a day best waste enjoying a bit of frightening evil with friends and family. When on the hunt for the best Halloween movies, a certainly scaring experience foliages too many out of the fun.

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